School History

Robert E. Lee High School has served the Springfield community since 1958. With over 1,800 students, Lee continues to reflect the increasing diversity of Fairfax County.

The school was opened in September, 1958 and opened with freshmen through junior classes. It had 52 rooms and cost 1 1/2 million dollars to complete. It was called Lee High School (Lee District) and included grades 8-11. It was officially dedicated on Sunday, April 26, 1959 and the main speaker was Dr. Colgate Darden- president of the University of Virginia. In 1960, a middle school was created. The first graduating class at Lee High School was the Class of 1960 which contained 160 students. W.T. Woodson was the division superintendent of Fairfax County Schools at that time.

Robert E. Phipps was the first principal of Lee High School. He received his Bachelor’s degree at West Virginia Institute of Technology and had done graduate work at George Washington University. In November, 1959, Principal Phipps resigned to take a post with the Navy Department. He told the school board that he was to become an education specialist with the Navy Bureau of Personnel (for better opportunities and higher pay scales in the Navy). William C. Parrish, assistant superintendent for instruction, replaced Phipps.

By 1964, there were 1800 students enrolled and the school’s name was officially changed to Robert E. Lee High School. In 1965, plans were made to accommodate 2000 students and the school was renovated adding a second story wing, a new cafeteria, and a new gym. The old cafeteria became the library.

Learn How Our School Received Its Name>